1.2.x

Free Training

We provide free training for all of our products to all new clients, feel free to reach us through our training page.

Video Tutorial

Key aspects

  • Mount up to 25 EBS drives
  • Mount the drives as if they were on the local lan while using a VPN
  • Share data across instances within the same VPC

Example use cases

Your imagination is your limit, but here are some ideas that are worth considering:

  • Share data between servers inside a VPC.
  • Mount drive(s) locally when using a VPN.
  • Remote storage with easy backup options to access the data anywhere in the world.
  • Browse existing EBS drives that you might have in your account and forgotten what is contained within them.

Additional details

Resilience

If you want to always be able to connect the same internal IP, make sure to start the EC2 Instance and keep the same local IP settings. This way, even if the instance gets terminated and you have to recreate it, the IP will stay the same and your user won't have to change any of their configurations.

Security

Our product is configured to only allow guest access, meaning there are no user accounts. This makes it very straightforward for users to mount the drive and share data across the company.

This also means that you can't have the server deployed on a public network with a public IP. You need to deploy the server in a private network and use a VPN server to access it.

This way the Samba-server can be accessed only through a VPN connection. If you are looking for an affordable VPN server, we recommend the openvpn-server.

Complete feature list

This section lists all the features of this product for easy referencing.

Detailed list

The product itself

  1. Mount up to 25 EBS drives.
  2. No manual management needed.
  3. All the configuration is done through the EC2 Instance UserData section.
  4. Drives are mounted using Guest access.
  5. Anyone in the same subnet is free to mount the drives.
  6. Mount one or all the drives.

If you were to use our CloudFormation file, you’d also get

  1. An Alarm to check for CPU Bursts.
  2. An Alarm to check for CPU Load.
  3. An Alarm to check for Disk usage.
  4. An Alarm to auto recover the instance if it gets terminated suddenly by AWS due to hardware failure.
  5. An Alarm for EC2 Instance termination protection.
  6. A SNS Topic to receive notifications from the above alarms.

Additionally

  1. The ability to set same local IP for the server so even after termination the clients won't need reconfiguration.

WARNING

Since September of 2021 Microsoft disabled the ability to mount Guest drives. Click here to find out how to reenable the lost feature.

Deploy Automatically

CloudFormation

We provide a complementary CloudFormation file. Before you click the orange button to deploy the stack, make sure to subscribe first to the product on the AWS Marketplace, and if you want to check the CloudFormation prior to deployment, follow this link. Using our CF will allow you to deploy the stack with minimal work on your part. But, if you'd like to deploy the stack by hand, check the Deploy Manually section.

What will be deployed

  • 1x EC2 instance with 0x4447 custom AMI:
    • 1x IAM Role.
    • 1x IAM Policy.
    • 1x Security Group.
    • 1x Instance profile.
  • 4x CloudWatch Alarms:
    • CPU Burst.
    • CPU Load.
    • Disk Usage.
    • EC2 Instance Recovery.
  • 1x SNS Topic:
    • 1x SNS Policy.
    • 1x Topic Subscription.
  • 1x CloudWatch Dashboard for instance overview.

The First Boot

The boot time of our product will be slower than if you started an instance from a clean AMI, this is due to our custom code that needs to be executed in order to prepare the product for you. This process can take a few minutes longer than usual.

Connecting to the Server

If you need to connect to the server: get it's IP, connect to the instance over SSH with the username ec2-user, while using the private key you selected at deployment time. If successfully connected, you should be greeted with a custom MOTD detailing the product information.

Mount the drives

Once the server is up and running, it needs to be on the same network that our product is (over VPN, in the same VPC (Subnet), etc). Below you can find detailed instructions on how to mount the drive under the most popular operating systems.

Windows 10

  1. Open the File Manager.
  2. On the left side, right click on Network.
  3. Select Map network drive....
  4. In the new window in the Folder field, type this: \\PARAM_SAMBA_LOCAL_IP (the slashes are important)
  5. Then click Browse....
  6. From the drop down menu you will see a list of driver(s) , select the one that you want and click OK.
  7. Then click Finish.
  8. If you get a popup asking for credentials, type in the Username field: guest.

MacOS 11.x

  1. Open Finder.
  2. In the menu follow: Go > Connect to Server...
  3. In the new Window type the local IP of the server.
  4. Click Connect.
  5. When prompted, select Guest as the user to log in as.
  6. The connection might take a moment, but once all is done you should see the Samba server on the left side of Finder.

Ubuntu 20.x

Other distributions might have a similar approach.

sudo apt install cifs-utils
sudo mount -t cifs //172.31.0.21/vol-PARAM_ID_OF_THE_COLUME /mnt/samba
cd /mnt/samba

Final Thought

Test the setup

Before you go into production, make sure to test the product. This ensures that you get used to how it works.

Security Concerns

Bellow we give you a list of potential ideas to consider regarding security, but this list is not exhaustive – it is just a good starting point.

  • Allow access only from within the same subnet.
  • Don't put the server on the public internet.
  • Don't give root access to anyone but yourself.

Backup Your Data

Make sure you regularly backup your drive(s). One simple solution would be to use AWS backup.

How To

How to change the instance type

If you need more memory and CPU capacity, you can change your instance type to a bigger one. To do so, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to the CloudFormation console
  2. Click on the stack that you want to update.
  3. Click the Update button.
  4. Keep the default selection and click Next
  5. On the new Parameters page, change the instance type from the drop down.
  6. Click Next till the end.

Wait for the stack to finish updating.

F.A.Q

These are some of the common solutions to problems you may run into:

Not authorized for images

My CloudFormation stack failed with the following error API: ec2:RunInstances Not authorized for images:... in the Event tab.

Solution

You have to accept the subscription from the AWS Marketplace first, before you use our CloudFormation file.

The product is misbehaving

I did follow all the instructions from the documentation.

Solution

Check if the values entered in the UserData reached the instance itself.

sudo cat /var/lib/cloud/instance/user-data.txt

UserData seams ok

The UserData reached the instance, and yet the product is not acting as it should.

Solution

Use the following command to see if there were any errors during the boot process.

sudo cat /var/log/messages | grep 0x4447

Enable Guest Drives in Windows

Solution

Since September of 2021 Microsoft released a change to Windows where they disable the ability to mount Guest drives. To roll back the change follow this official documentation on how to revert the changes.